On March 23, 1776, the Second Provincial
Congress agreed to recognize three more regiments of militia
- that had been in existence for almost a year - for the three
new districts named during February of 1775. On March 26, 1776,
the Second Provincial Congress closed and the State General Assembly
met for the first time - with the State's drafted Constitution
approved during the first session. South Carolina was now a State
with State Troops and not Provincial Troops.
By now, Col. Andrew Williamson took
over the Ninety-Six District Regiment (of militia) from Col.
John Savage. Col. Jonas Beard took over the Lower District Regiment
(of militia) from Col. Robert Starke. Col. Joseph Maybank took
over the Berkeley County Regiment (of militia) from Col. Richard
Singleton. Lt. Col. Isaac Hayne took over the Colleton County
Regiment (of militia) from Col. Joseph Glover. And finally, Col.
Hugh Giles took over the Lower Craven County Regiment (of militia)
from Col. Job Rothmahler.
In April of 1776, the Continental Army
designated Brig. Gen. John Armstrong as the leader of the newly-created
Southern Department (of the Continental Army), and his authority
ostensibly extends to South Carolina. His tenure in this position
is so short-lived that he has virtually no influence on the state
of military affairs within South Carolina.
At this point in time, the "war"
is one full year old, with great activity up north, but very
little activity in the "Southern Department." Within
South Carolina, the Loyalists are biding their time, and the
British fleet is not quite as active, but they're still here.